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Ice Rink Roof Collapses Under Weight of Snow, Adults and Children Escape Injury

Ice Rink Roof Collapses Under Weight of Snow, Adults and Children Escape Injury

Snow caused a major roof collapse at an ice skating rink in Canton, Massachusetts. The rear third of the Metropolis Skating Rink collapsed without caused any injuries even though there were a number of people inside the rink at the time of the accident, reported CBS News (2.28.15).

The building was significantly damaged. In a photo posted by CBS News, debris and snow could be seen covering part of the ice surface.

Luckily, the collapse occurred at around 7:00 a.m. when approximately 20 people were inside the facility. According to Fire Chief Charles Doody, two hours later there were 200 skaters scheduled to be at the rink, said CBS News. Players from the local youth hockey team were at the rink but not on the ice at the time the roof collapsed.

When the roof collapsed, the resulting air pressure blew out part of the front of the building. The force of the roof collapse also knocked two hockey coaches to the ground.

State inspectors and the Canton Building Commissioner visited the scene. The building was considered a “total loss” and will likely have to be demolished, reported CBS News.

According to CBS News, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation officials had been in touch with employees at the skating rink before the roof collapse. There had been concerns about the snow on the building’s roof. A number of other rinks had also been forced to close in recent weeks due to fear of roof collapse.

There will likely be an inquiry into why this rink was not closed, as well. There was a possibility many people could have been injured had the roof collapse occurred only two hours later. Common forms of roof collapse injuries include broken bones, head injury, deep lacerations and nerve damage. A roof collapse can also cause fatal injury.

Clearing a roof after a heavy snowfall is important. One foot of ice weighs approximately 57 pounds per square foot. One foot of fresh snow ranges in weight from 3 PSF for light, dry snow to 21 pounds for the wet, heavy snow, said Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Snow on roofs that does not slide off continues to pile up, until the roof reaches its snow load capacity, and caves in.

Individuals who were injured in a roof collapse in New York involving ice and snow that should have been cleared off the roof may be able to pursue a premises liability case against the building’s landlord or property owner. Landlords and property owners have an obligation to ensure that their premises are safe and free from potential safety hazards.

The CBS News story cited is “Adults, Children Escape Injury During Major Roof Collapse At Canton Ice Rink.”

Categories: Premises Liability

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